Many people have mixed feelings about Valentine’s Day, so here’s an empowering thought to celebrate.
A couple years ago I read in Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, where a man complained to Mr. Covey that he didn’t feel the way he used to about his wife. Mr. Covey replied, “Love Her.”
We often believe that love describes a fleeting feeling. That can be true when love is viewed only as a noun. But if you look it up in the dictionary, love is also a verb:
1 : to hold dear : CHERISH
1: b : to keep or cultivate with care and affection :
Love is a verb: an experience that requires active cultivation “with care and affection”. If anyone is ever to love us, we must first love ourselves… and we must actively engage in loving both ourselves and the other person everyday.
By intentionally seeking to recognize what we find lovable within others, and ourselves, we transform the experience of love from passive to active. When we place ourselves at the “mercy” of waiting to be loved, we passively turn over our power to everyone else, and only when they love us can we feel good.
Where are you waiting to feel love and how can you actively bring more love into your life… into yourself?
By consciously looking for what is beautiful, kind and loving first in ourselves and then in everyone we meet, we can pro-actively bring the feeling of love into our lives. The more you see, the more you feel! If we move in the world with the understanding that everyone wants to experience love, we will find much more love on our paths.
It starts with baby steps. Define for yourself:
- What is “lovable”? What actions is someone taking that makes them “lovable”?
- What is “beautiful”? What makes someone beautiful? Is it physical, emotional, spiritual? Some or all of the above & how?
- What is “kindness”? Again, what do they do that shows their kindness? Are they generous, thoughtful, caring… what?
You don’t have to write a novel here, just a few sentences. Then, open your eyes and objectively see how you do these things for others right now.
If that feels too hard at the moment, look around you at others to see how they are involved in the above activities. If you’ve been dwelling upon what someone doesn’t do, for today, actively look at what they do that makes you smile; what they give that is important to you, how they are in the world that fills you with pride in knowing them… really look. Love is within them, just as it’s within you.
This Valentine’s Day, start with you… Love & Cherish You and then Love & Cherish Them… And watch the world shine back your love…
I’d love to hear how this exercise impacts your day! Please feel free to comment below!
Always infinite possibilities… always your choice.
Music Credit: “Give Me Love” ©copyright 1973 by George Harrison